Bulls from Costitx

Toros de Costitx Pulse para ampliar Toros de Costitx- Sala 15

Balearic cults

These bronze sculptures are dated to be from the 5th and 3rd century BC and belong to the Post- Talayotic culture. They are highly realistic representations of two adult bulls and a heifer with long horns that curve out and up in the form of a lyre. They were cast using the lost wax method and are hollow inside. The horns and ears were probably riveted to the heads. The anatomical detailing was chiselled into the bronze, and the eyes were originally filled with vitreous paste. These pieces were found at Costitx (Mallorca), in the Shrine of Predio de Son Corró, where they were probably fixed atop column shafts to preside over the ceremonies. Based on the remains found during archaeological excavations, it seems that religious rituals, animal sacrifices related to fertility, feasting and wine libations were held at this shrine under the open sky. The presence of these sculptures indicates that the indigenous societies of the Balearic Islands venerated a deity with the form and attributes of the bull—namely, its vigour and virility. This belief and cult can be traced back to the ancient cultures of the Near East and the Mediterranean.